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New ‘Destination Detroit’ Brand to Strengthen Business Case for Southeast Michigan Among Global Investors

Investor exclusiveOne region. Endless opportunity.

That’s the mantra of Destination Detroit—a regional brand created by the Detroit Regional Chamber and its economic development partners in the city of Detroit and the 11-county Southeast Michigan region. The brand will be used to collaboratively promote the region’s assets while engaging with international and domestic companies looking to relocate or expand their operations in North America. The brand was unveiled during the Chamber Foundation’s Forward Detroit Annual Meeting of Investors last week.

The brand is a direct outcome of the Detroit Regional Business Attraction Strategy & Action Plan, funded by JPMorgan Chase in 2014, which recommended the development of a regional brand and message specifically for business attraction purposes. Through print and digital collateral, Destination Detroit provides a consistent message and promotes Southeast Michigan’s world-class assets.

“Our public and private partners challenged us to do more to market the diversity of the region both in terms of its asset allocation and economic character. As part of the brand development process, we looked out at the other major metropolitan areas we compete with across the United States and saw a huge opportunity to create something that stands out from the pack,” said Justin Robinson, vice president of Business Attraction for the Chamber.

Robinson said the brand will:
• Serve as a common marketing platform for the Chamber and its public partners
• Place greater emphasis on information sharing with international audiences
• Provide a simple, assertive, and memorable message to investors

Future plans include a new website, social media strategy, video testimonials and targeted advertising.

Federal Reserve Bank VP: Adaptability Key to Region’s Economic Growth

Forward Detroit investors also received an update on the current trends in the U.S. economy during a keynote address from William Testa, vice president and director of regional research for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (pictured).

Addressing economic trends and “headwinds,” such as China’s sluggish economy, softening U.S. exports overseas, and a return of the Sunbelt migration, Testa said Southeast Michigan has done well adapting its manufacturing base to position the region for future growth.

Testa shared that Michigan’s economy continues to see roughly 2 percent growth year-over-year, a trend he expects to continue and that he attributes to the revitalization of the auto industry, the state’s manufacturing R&D leadership, and a shift in focus to mobility and connected vehicle technology.

“Michigan is doing well with its efforts to diversify through the technical and life sciences sectors,” he said. “Who would have predicted 50 years ago that technology and mobility would be the prime sector that has sustained the state’s economy?”

In responding to a question from moderator and former Detroit Free Press columnist Tom Walsh regarding Michigan’s competitiveness, Testa said attracting foreign talent, as well as public and private collaboration, good government services, quality of life amenities and reliable regional transit options are all crucial to attracting new investment.

Additionally, Testa said that in the age of the connected consumer Michigan is ripe for cultivating entrepreneurial startups in information technology and software development.

“With so much emphasis on IT, the opportunities are better than they ever were to get an entrepreneurial economy going in places like Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, etc.,” Testa said.

Download the 2016 Forward Detroit Annual Report

Download the 2016 Forward Detroit Annual Report and read how your investment dollars have helped move the region’s economy forward in the past year. For more information, please contact Marnita Hamilton, Director, Investor Relations, at 313.596.0310. To view a full list of investors and past Investor Exclusive content, visit our Investor Resources page.